The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. will present two free performances on September 10 and 11 at 5pm in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (North end of Battery Park City, west of River Terrace) to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001. This special event will feature performances by the Limón Dance Company with Voices of Ascension; the Paul Taylor Dance Company with Orchestra of St. Luke's; and a new work created by Jessica Lang especially for this occasion, among others to be announced. This free event, with general lawn-seating on a first-come first-served basis, is made possible through the generosity of The Joyce Theater Foundation with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.
Limón Dance Company will present José Limón's 1958 Missa Brevis, which features music by Zoltán Kodály, performed by 18 dancers. Zoltán Kodály, the Hungarian composer, wrote Missa Brevis in Tempore Bellie at the end of World War II. A Mass in time of war, it was completed under great hardship during the siege of Budapest. Limón's stirring choreography depicts an indomitable humanity rising up after near destruction. The piece, a memento to cities destroyed during World War II and to those unconquerable qualities that permit hope to survive, perfectly reflects the spirit of this commemorative event.
The Paul Taylor Dance Company will present Brandenburgs, Paul Taylor's 1988 masterwork for six men and three women. Performed to Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 6, this work displays Taylor's special affinity for the music of Bach - also seen in such works as Esplanade, Musical Offering and Promethean Fire. Brandenburgs is a joyous and exuberant showcase of movement invention that matches the uplifting spirit of this commemorative event.
BIOGRAPHIES OF PERFORMERS
Acclaimed for its dramatic expression, technical mastery and expansive, yet nuanced movement, the Limón Dance Company illustrates the timelessness of José Limón's work and vision. This season the Company founded by Mexican choreographer José Limón will be celebrating its 65th anniversary. Named one of "America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures" by the Dance Heritage Coalition, Limón was instrumental in shaping the creation of American Modern Dance and the art of choreography as we know it today. His Company was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2008, was the first Dance Company to survive past its founder, the first American modern dance company to perform in Europe; the first dance troupe to perform and be in residence at Lincoln Center; the first company to tour under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State. The Company is now led by Carla Maxwell, who worked closely with Limón before becoming Artistic Director in 1978. The Company's repertory, which balances classic works with new commissions from contemporary choreographers, is of an unparalleled breadth, creating unique experiences for audiences around the world.
The Paul Taylor Dance Company, now in its 57th year, is one of the world's most highly respected and sought-after ensembles. Dance maker Paul Taylor first presented his choreography in 1954 - a performance that marked the beginning of a half century of unrivaled creativity. In the ensuing decades Mr. Taylor became a cultural icon and one of history's most celebrated artists, hailed as part of the pantheon that created American modern dance. The Company has traveled the globe many times over, bringing Mr. Taylor's ever-burgeoning repertoire to theaters and venues of every size and description in cultural capitals, on college campuses and in rural communities - and often to places modern dance had never been before. The Taylor Company has performed in more than 520 cities in 62 countries, representing the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries and touring extensively under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State.
Since 1999, Jessica Lang has been choreographing extensively for ballet and modern companies across the US and abroad. She is noted for her artfully crafted, emotionally engaging work and has been described for having "established a reputation for concocting ingenious choreographic interactions between dancing bodies and the movements of striking set and costume pieces." Lang has created more than 74 works on companies including Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ailey II, ABT II, Hubbard Street 2, and New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, among others. She has also received commissions from the Dallas Museum of Art for its Henri Matisse exhibition, the Guggenheim Museum Works and Process series with Morphoses, The Juilliard School for its Centennial Celebration Concert as well as the TITAS Command Performance Gala for San Francisco Ballet's Yuan Yuan Tan and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Clifton Brown. American Ballet Theatre principals, Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky, perform Lang's work Splendid Isolation III in galas around the world including ABT's opening night gala at the Metropolitan Opera House on several occasions. In 2008, Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts presented An Evening of Works by Jessica Lang, a triple bill program performed by Richmond Ballet. Commercially, Lang has worked for BMW International Industrials, Cirque du Soleil and Australian pop singer and songwriter, Sia.
Voices of Ascension Chorus and Orchestra, founded in 1989 and directed by conductor Dennis Keene, is one of the world's premier professional choral ensembles. The ensemble's annual series of concerts in New York City, recordings on Delos International, and Grammy-nominated "Song of the Stars" on the Naxos label, have received unalloyed critical acclaim. The singers of Voices of Ascension are among the finest ensemble singers in the United States. Most are active as soloists as well. Artistic Director Dennis Keene has blended this group of New York's finest professional singers into a richly satisfying ensemble, unique in its flexibility and artistic command of choral music of every period and style. The number of singers in the ensemble varies according to the works performed, usually ranging from 20 to 40.
Now in its 37th year, Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's foremost and most versatile ensembles. Dedicated to engaging audiences throughout New York City and beyond, OSL performs approximately 70 concerts each year-including an annual chamber music series, an orchestra series at Carnegie Hall, and a summer residency at Caramoor International Music Festival. OSL collaborates regularly with the world's great artists on the world's greatest stages. Committed to community-building, OSL produces free concerts in each of the five boroughs as part of its Subway Series, and has engaged more than one million children in its arts education programs. OSL's stellar 70+ discography includes four releases on its own label, St. Luke's Collection, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings.
The Joyce Theater Foundation, a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences for three decades. The founders, Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea, which opened as The Joyce Theater in 1982. The Joyce Theater is named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant home for more than 320 domestic and international companies. The Joyce has also commissioned more than 130 new dances since 1992. In 1996, The Joyce created Joyce SoHo, a dance center providing highly subsidized rehearsal and performance space to hundreds of dance artists, as well as special residency opportunities for selected choreographers to support the creation of new work. In 2009, The Joyce opened Dance Art New York (DANY) Studios to provide affordable studios for rehearsals, auditions, classes, and workshops for independent choreographers, non-profit dance companies, and the dance/theater communities. New York City public school students and teachers annually benefit from The Joyce's Dance Education Program, and adult audiences get closer to dance through pre-engagement Dance Talks and post-performance Dance Chats. The Joyce Theater now features an annual season of approximately 48 weeks with over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 135,000.